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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
'Victimised' over hate mail case
Gurpal Virdi
Detective Sergeant Virdi says his career has been "halted"
An Asian officer has told a tribunal he has suffered race discrimination and victimisation after being cleared of sending racist mail.

Det Sgt Gurpal Virdi, 48, is suing the Metropolitan Police after he was turned down for promotion in 2005.

Mr Virdi won damages and an apology from the Met in 2002 after he was wrongly accused of sending racist mail at a police station in west London.

He believes his previous claims mean he has been treated "less favourably."

Career halted

He told a hearing at Kingsway Employment Tribunal in central London he still suffered "fall out" from the hate mail investigation.

"Almost every time there is an article regarding me in the national press or internal publication, I receive hate mail," he said.

While his initial application for the inspector's position was approved, it was later rejected by a review panel, the tribunal heard.

The review panel's decision was subsequently upheld by an appeal panel in June 2005.

Mr Virdi claims the Met failed "to ensure that I would not be treated less favourably in light of my previous employment tribunal claims."

"My career has been halted," he told the tribunal.

"It has been five years since my return to the [Met] and even now I have not been allowed to achieve a substantive promotion...despite my best efforts."

'Considered on merit'

Police lawyers maintain Mr Virdi's application was considered "entirely on its merits based on the evidence of suitability he supplied as required by the process".

They argue he did not suffer prejudice because of his race and personal history of bringing employment tribunal actions against the force.

"The Metropolitan Police Service considers it has done everything possible to assist Det Sgt Virdi in his development and to assist his pursuit of promotion," said a police spokesman.

The case continues.

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